Régis Burnet

Exegesis and History of Reception

Reading the New Testament Today with the Readers of the Past

[Exegese und Wirkungsgeschichte. Das Neue Testament heute mit den Lesern der Vergangenheit lesen.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-159653-7
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Published in English.
Why should we take into account the history of reception in biblical methods? It is because as exegetes we have no choice. Recognizing our dependence on interpretations of the past is not a new method, but it is the very way we understand texts. Régis Burnet shows how this allows us to put our current interpretations into perspective, but also to dialogue with those of the past.
Highlighted by the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, the history of reception (Wirkungsgeschichte) is often misunderstood in biblical studies. Whereas it describes the historicity of the process of understanding, it is taken for an exegetical method among others. Through numerous concrete examples, Régis Burnet shows that taking into account the history of reception transcends methods. Not only does it make us aware of the prejudices that burden every act of reading, and thus relativize the claims of all exegetical methods to achieve a definitive interpretation of the biblical text, but it also makes it possible for the same methods to enter into dialogue with each other and more broadly with the theological tradition.

Régis Burnet 1995 MA in Philosophy; 2001 PhD in Religious Sciences; 2013 Habilitation; 2001–11 Senior Lecturer at the University of Paris VIII (Saint-Denis); since 2011 Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain-la-Neuve).


The following reviews are known:

In: Biblische Notizen — 196 (2023) (Patrick Chatelion Counet)
In: Recherches de Science Religieuse — 110 (2022), pp. 537–540
In: Revue Biblique — 129 (2022), pp. 299–300 (Étienne Nodet)
In: Kerk en Theologie — 72 (2021), pp. 295–296
In: Laval théologique et philosophique — 77 (2021), pp. 159–161 (Francois Doyon)
In: Revue Théologique de Louvain — 52 (2021), pp. 467–469 (Florence Draguet)